Otago Metals foreman Nic Marshall says in the past three or four years the number of people bringing in their old cars for scrap metal has increased. Photo by Tim Miller
Global commodity prices are helping keep the streets of
Cash in the back pocket seems to be a stronger incentive to
act, rather than just leaving an old car on the street for
the council to worry about.
During the past five years the number of abandoned vehicles
the Dunedin City Council has had to remove has steadily
declined - one reason being the increase in the price of
In 2009 there were 598 abandoned vehicle complaints and 166
vehicles removed but in 2012 complaints were down to 359 with
30 vehicles removed.
DCC parking services team leader Daphne Griffen said with the
increase in the price of steel, abandoned vehicles were
really not much of a problem any more.
''It seems people would rather [have] a bit of money in their
pocket instead of having the council chase them up about
their car,'' Ms Griffen said.
It cost the council about $13,000 each year to remove
abandoned vehicles, which included towage and secure indoor
storage for a period of between 10 days and six months until
the vehicle was either claimed or disposed of. Owners could
face fines of more than $500 for the storage and removal of
an abandoned vehicle.
If people were concerned about a vehicle which they suspected
was abandoned, they should call the council, she said.
Scrap Metal dealers spoken to by The Star said people were
more aware their old cars could be recycled now, which meant
more were being taken into dealers.
Otago Metal Industries foreman Nic Marshall said two or three
years ago there was a big increase in the number of old
vehicles being brought into scrap metal dealers because the
price of steel was higher.
Since the steel price had dropped in the past year, fewer
vehicles had been scrapped, but it could also be the case
there were not as many older vehicles being sold, Mr Marshall
''People are a lot more educated about the situation now, so
instead of leaving it for the council they know they can get
Depending on the condition, an older car could be worth
anywhere from $50 to $200, he said.
- by Tim Miller